This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Federico Valverde is Real Madrid’s revelation of the season. The 21-year-old midfielder has suddenly become a crucial part of their squad but the latest triumph over Eibar uncovered one other aspect of his game that could take him to the next level.
By all standards, Real Madrid’s victory over Eibar this last weekend was a true statement clash.
Zinedine Zidane’s men steamrolled their opposition, forcing four goals into their net in the process and tallying important three points for their campaign.
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Valverde was once again part of that victorious squad, as he was so many times before. The Galacticos are not really the same team with and without the young midfielder, as we have already discussed on a previous occasion.
But against Eibar, the 21-year-old rattled the inside of the opposition’s net with a brilliant strike from around the edge of the box.
For all of his qualities, this was something we didn’t know he possessed. But if he can make that part of his arsenal, the sky could be the limit.
That goal was Valverde’s first one while donning the royal white shirt of Real Madrid, but they will be hoping it’s not nearly the last.
So far, the young midfielder has 35 games for the club under his belt and can also boast one assist as well.
But even though he has been mostly remarkable in everything else, considering the team’s results with him in the squad, shooting has never truly been a part of his repertoire.
In the 2019/20 La Liga season, Valverde registered 0.9 shots on average according to WhoScored, and for that reason it doesn’t really come as a surprise that he doesn’t score much, or at all.
Back in 2018/19, that figure was even lower with 0.4 shots per game but also suggests a certain growth that shouldn’t be disregarded.
Similarly, his expected goals output for that season was just 0.23 and it rose to 1.02 in the 2019/20 – again, a clear improvement is visible and it could indicate Valverde is getting more audacious in the final third.
At the moment, that seems to be the only real flaw of his player profile and if he can iron it out in the not so distant future, Real Madrid could be having a potentially complete midfielder on their hands.
That would be an incredible thing for Los Blancos.